Review: NICA’s Leap of Faith

Stunning circus spectacular

By Christine Moffat

Circus is a curious thing. If attempting to describe it to someone who knew no better, you might say “Circus is when a group of very bendy, strong people do amazingly dangerous things while other people applaud”.

Leap of Faith

It’s a true statement, but your friend would be no wiser. NICA‘s Leap of Faith: Circus in Motion showcases the talents of just such a group: the skilful and flexible graduating students of 2013 to be precise.

Often circus cannot be viewed as traditional theatre, but must be consumed for its spectacle and variety. This is the case for Leap of Faith. There is no plot or overarching message or connection, just 24 amazing performers trying to entertain and impress – and they did. The art of circus is ancient, and it must be difficult for a performer to express themselves in fresh and entertaining ways. All of the performers managed great modern interpretations with their routines.

The entire cast were amazing to watch, and each of them deserves a successful career in circus. That being said, there were some definite standouts on the night. Emeline Dunnand was adorable and funny as the evening’s clown/mime. Anna Murray and Tessa Wilson were fabulously entertaining with their deceptively simply-named “Handstands on Chairs” routine. Nick Rothlisberger (trapeze), Yonnas Gebremedhin (juggling), Danny Golding (swinging pole) and Liam DeJong and Tamika Ball (Adagio) all elicited many ‘ooooohs’, ‘aaahhhs’, chuckles and rapt applause from the appreciative audience.

The evening was longer than the advertised 70 minutes, clocking in at 2 hours including interval. As the performance forms part of the students’ assessment in their Bachelor of Circus, it would be difficult to shorten. This reviewer recommends an early dinner or lunch before the show, so your attention can stay on the stage and the incredible acts being performed.

There was barely a hint that the show was an assessment piece; the work was certainly at professional level. This is no mean feat as performing for an audience and for assessment must equal double the stress. The class of 2013 appear to be young and strong, creative and fearless, and ready to take their own Leap of Faith into the professional circus world.

Leap of Faith: Circus in Motion

Directed by Mathew Jessner

Venue:

NICA National Circus Centre

41 Green Street, Prahran

Dates & Times:

6-13 April 2013

Evenings: 6 April, 10 – 13 April 7pm

Matinees: 11 – 13 April 1.30pm

Price: $30 Adult, $25 Concession, $20 Child >16, $80 Family (2 Adults, 2 Children)

Bookings: www.nica.com.au

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